Pregame Meal: Wednesday, June 26th

By Matt Appel (@mattappel)

Welcome back, ‘Cats fans! After a very successful road trip, on which the team went 4-2, the ValleyCats return back home for a five-game homestand. Tonight, the Lowell Spinners are in town for the start of a quick two-game set. It’s 50 cent hot dog night at The Joe, so here are my two cents before tonight’s 7:00 first pitch:

-Interesting road trip for the ‘Cats. In each game they won, there was one player in the lineup that really stood out, but no one was truly hot over the course of the week. The team showed great resiliency, winning two games in extras, including one that they trailed 5-0 as late as the 8th. Last night’s standout, Ronnie Mitchell, had his first professional home run, as well as his first pro triple, to lead the squad to victory and clinch a third straight series victory to begin the season. You’ll hear from Mitchell on the TCValleyCats.com pre-game show starting at 6:45.

-Some roster moves were made while the team was on the road. Gone are RHP’s Christian Garcia and Edison Frias, and in is LHP Chris Cotton (14th round pick out of LSU in this year’s draft), RHP Richard Rodriguez (last played for Quad Cities) and IF Adam Nelubowich (18th round out of Washington State in this year’s draft). I can’t ever recall the ValleyCats having as many players on the roster as they do now, 32. You should see the locker room-the team is literally out of available lockers. Offers some great opportunities for team bonding, I suppose.

-As I mentioned earlier, the team is 3-for-3 in series wins this year. That was one of the greatest attributes of the 2012 ValleyCats; they seemed to never lose a series. Obviously, and you don’t need to be a baseball genius to realize this, if you continually win series, your record is going to be pretty darn solid. Well, the ‘Cats find themselves 7-2 and atop the Stedler Division. With 11 games in a row coming against Stedler Division teams (in addition to the first 9 they’ve played this year), if Tri-City can continue this trend, they can get themselves a nice cushion in the early going.

-Still no Mark Appel update. Sorry.

-Batting Practice Hero: I’m aware this is a definite cop-out, but today’s BPH award goes to all of the second group, consisting of Jon Kemmer, Ronnie Mitchell, Ryan Dineen, Ernesto Genoves, and Chan Moon. Between the five of them, they hit 9 home runs: 4 from Kemmer, 4 from Mitchell, and one from Dineen. It was as impressive of a group of BP as I’ve seen in quite some time. Kemmer hit the longest of the bunch, launching a Russ Steinhorn offering over the second row of signage down the right field line, up onto the hill.

-One last nugget to pass along: 2012 ValleyCat Preston Tucker was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi. To say Tucker was tearing it up in Lancaster would be a severe understatement. He was leading the MiLB with 74 RBI, and “only’ had 15 HR. Preston is the only player in Pregame Meal History to have his name is retired as a Batting Practice Hero, so here’s a round of congratulations to the former Florida Gator.

Lineup

2B Tony Kemp

CF James Ramsay

1B Conrad Gregor

DH Dan Gulbransen

C Ernesto Genoves

LF Jon Kemmer

RF Ronnie Mitchell

3B Ryan Dineen

SS Chan Moon

LHP Randall Fant

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